Thursday, July 25, 2013

Green with envy...

Being envious really is a destructive quality. It not only tends to hurt other people, but also one's self. While growing up I fell victim to bullying and unkind words from others - mostly in primary school - and these words stuck with me to the point where I just hated what I saw in the mirror everyday. For years I struggled with accepting myself and who I was, and browsing the internet and being jealous of other girls for their achievements and good looks really wasn't healthy for me. They reminded me of everything I felt I wasn't; everything I desired to be.

When people said that other people were beautiful, and kept repeating it like a broken record, I was quick to lash out on them and point out how many layers of make-up it must have taken the person they referred to as beautiful to look the way they did. Admittedly, I was never really happy with myself - that and the fact that most people's perceptions of beauty can be so shallow at times.  I never felt pretty enough (because I was constantly seeking acceptance in the beauty system society has created), and unkind words about my appearance from both people who mattered to me, and those who did not, made me grow into a self-hating green monster.

I hated it when others were given attention, because it made me feel so much smaller.  No matter how much make-up I put on, and how much I worked out to make my body "perfectly s-shaped", neither of those practices were ever enough to cover the scars I had acquired from people bringing me down over the years.  In addition, I still let people's expectations of me, or their pictures of everything I wasn't, shape me.

Getting jealous over others' 'beauty' being admired only showcased just how insecure about myself I was, despite people's attempts to tell me that they thought I was beautiful. To me, it mattered little because I had already developed a self-destructive mindset regarding myself.

I now understand that the most shallow person was perhaps myself, because I believed that the outside made me who I am, that it shaped my entire existence.  At some point I had even started devising a plan to get plastic surgery done on my nose so it could look more narrow once I grew up and had made enough money. I was targeting every aspect of myself that anyone had ever said anything bad about, but forgetting that these things would not make me feel any better if the scars were still left on the inside. To change, I needed to start with myself.

Although it is an everyday process, I feel I've come further in just appreciating who I am, and trying my best to congratulate others on their uniqueness and beauty as well, rather than being green with envy towards them.  If I let others define me, I'll keep being miserable, perhaps for the rest of my life. But waking up and telling myself who I am and being positive about myself can fight off all the negative thoughts trying to bring me down.  In truth, you really are whoever you say you are, and jealousy is only a reflection of our inability to realise our own uniqueness and failure to appreciate what we already have.

The most important thing is to work on loving one's self, not in a self gratifying manner, but in a way that helps you understand that you were made for a purpose and are truly a unique gem.